Lincs FA Senior Trophy quarter final: Cleethorpes Town 2 Spalding United 1
A late goal denied the Tulips of going into a penalty shoot-out with reigning Lincs FA Senior Trophy holders Cleethorpes Town.
After trailing to a 16th minute penalty, the Tulips battled superbly before levelling the score through Lewis Brownhill on 80 minutes.
But their hopes were dashed by a Cleethorpes winner with two minutes to go.
With seven players unavailable, manager Matt Easton had to dig deep into his resources.
But Easton had nothing but praise for his troops who, under some pressure for long periods, battled every inch of the way.
Exceptional performances came from midfielder Kegan Everington, defenders Taron Hare and Josh Spencer and keeper Michael Duggan who made some great saves.
Against a side playing their eighth pre-season game it was the Tulips, playing only their third pre-seaon fixture, who featured first in attack with George Zuerner, linking with Jenk Acar, to test keeper Theo Richardson.
Duggan was soon to deny Alex Flett, but the keeper had no chance of keeping out Scott Vernon’s penalty.
Three minutes later Jamie Jackson ducked and weaved in the home area but was forced wide and shot into the side netting.
Early in the second half the Tulips suffered anxious moments when the ball was delivered low into their area, but three goalline blocks in succession kept it at 1-0.
Just past the hour mark the home goal was under siege with Jackson turning defenders before a pass eluded Acar by inches.
The scores were levelled on 80 minutes when Hare won possession just inside his own half before pumpingd the ball beyond the defence to find Brownhill racing clear before firing the ball superbly past the static Richardson.
The stunned home side came storming back only to be denied by the brilliance of Duggan before skipper Flett proved to be their hero with the crucial decider.
Tulips: Duggan, Hare, Mason (Brown 67mins), Brownhill, Spencer, Richards, Elliott Ramsden, Everington, Jackson, Zuerner (Frain 59mins), Acar (Holliday 85mins). Sub not used: Berry.